To be useful, rental agreements have to show who, how much and when. They can take one page to provide broad outlines or five pages to get into specific detail. Nolo recommends ten terms to include in every rental agreement.
Who the tenants are, who the landlord is and whether there is a property manager define the contracting parties. All adults living at the property should sign the lease as tenants. The rental agreement places limits on occupancy and guests, as well as possible uses of the property and restrictions on illegal activities. Tenant access to facilities such as a pool or parking are clearly stated.
The agreement specifies a duration and conditions for renewal. Some leases renew annually; others may renew monthly unless terminated by one of the parties. The amount of rent, when it's due and how it should be paid are important. Any penalties for late payment are specified. The agreement notes deposits and non-returnable fees, such as pet fees, and conditions under which the landlord can keep the deposit. The agreement specifies who pays for which utilities.
Landlords benefit from leases that clarify who pays for repairs and maintenance, as well as what alterations are allowed. Pets typically are either allowed or not and can be limited by size or number.